But the vast majority of domestic violence cases involve abusive men who seriously injure their victims. And in black communities, the problem is particularly severe, with abuse being the leading cause of injury among black women ages 15 to Many advocates for the black community maintain that because of their contentious history with law enforcement, many black women are reluctant to call the police even when they should. Unfortunately, many black women do not believe the police are there to protect them.
Meanwhile, others worry about the consequences their partners might suffer at the hands of the police. To them, it is just too big of a risk to take. For black women, they do not want their families broken apart. Instead, they want their men to change and to be healed. They do not want them in prison. There are other reasons that black women do not call the police. For instance, they are afraid of being judged by their community. They also do not want to look like a traitor to their race. Instead, black Americans are more likely to turn to their churches for guidance, relying on religious guidance and faith-based practices when working through relationship issues.
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Meanwhile, these religious beliefs can also keep them trapped in abusive situations if divorce is discouraged and forgiveness is required. But, it can also leave us feeling like we have no one to turn to. When this happens, it does not always go over well when black survivors look for assistance from shelters, the police, and the courts. The constant labeling and invisiblizing, often at the same time, impacts our safety-seeking and our ability to obtain justice. Flowers points to the case of Marissa Alexander as an example.
She is a black survivor of abuse who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting a bullet into the wall next to where her abuser was standing, just minutes after he tried to strangle her to death. Other factors contributing to this silence include a fear of isolation and alienation as well as a strong loyalty to both the immediate and extended family. A reluctance to discuss "private matters" coupled with a fear of rejection from family, friends, congregation, and community also contributes to their silence. Finally, many black women will put their personal needs aside in favor of family unity and strength.
Unfortunately though, not reporting violence simply allows it to continue, unchallenged. This may explain why black women are more like to be murdered by a spouse or a boyfriend.
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When it comes to addressing the unique challenges that black women face when dealing with domestic abuse, most advocates would suggest starting with the church. Not only are black people the highest population of Christians in the United States, but they also are more likely to find comfort and security in the idea that God will take care of them. Consequently, the black community needs the pastors and other men in their churches to stand up against domestic violence. These need to not only communicate that abuse is an unthinkable act, but also be willing to come alongside any woman in their community who are experiencing abuse.
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By taking a strong stand against violence, they may be able to reduce the number of women that are being abused in their communities. Another area of improvement includes providing additional training of local police forces. They need to understand all of the unique challenges black women face when reporting domestic abuse. This empathy and understanding would create a sense of security in reporting abuse.
And, if black women not only feel safe reporting domestic abuse but also feel like they and their significant others are going to be treated fairly, they will be more likely to contact police when violence occurs. They need to see that their local police want to help them and keep them safe. Until they are convinced of that, it is highly unlikely they will report the abuse they are experiencing. The way in which black women are viewed and treated by domestic violence advocates and shelters is another area that needs to be improved.
It is important that these social service groups understand the unique challenges that black women face, including their fear of being judged harshly by their families and their communities when they report the violence. Programs should be put into place that help black women communicate effectively with their families and communities so that these relationships can be preserved while she fights for her safety. There is nothing more detrimental to a victim's recovery than feeling like she has brought shame to her community.
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The key is to give black survivors a voice within the domestic violence community so that they can reach out to and work with other black women dealing with the same issues. Because black women already understand the unique challenges that black victims face, they are more equipped to help them get the assistance they need in addressing their situation. They also can dispel any worries or concerns they have about asking for help.
Finally, educational programs geared specifically toward black communities can help dispel some of the myths and concerns that black victims wrestle with when they are in an abusive situation. The key is that these programs deal with the very real and specific things the keep black women from opening up to others about what is going on in their personal lives.
It is no secret that black women experience abuse and violence at exceptionally high rates. But the challenges they face in getting the help they need often leave them feeling alone and isolated. By addressing the unique concerns and challenges that black women must deal with instead of developing a one-size-fits-all mentality, communities will become more effective in addressing domestic violence in the black community.
Learn the best ways to manage stress and negativity in your life. Jones, Feminista. More in Relationships. Scope of the Problem. Attendees participated in an interactive workshop that consisted of a virtual reality field trip to the Dr.
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Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial via virtual reality goggles. Department of Education who provided remarks and Edward Metz, Ph. Department of Education who shared relevant information about education research and innovative programs at the federal level. AACE facilitates mutually beneficial improvements in professional development, cultural awareness, and fosters career growth through mentoring and networking. At the meeting, key stakeholders discussed specific strategies to develop an effective plan to recruit and retain male teachers of color.
During a summit, teams of educators convene to think deeply about a problem of practice — an idea for how to improve learning in their school, district, or state context — and to work as a team to plan solutions. This summit opened dialogue between educators and educational leaders regarding teacher preparation and cultural competency in the classroom.
The goals of the summit were to:. The purpose of this event was to inform participants of proven programs and initiatives that recruit and support African American students in earning teaching credentials; to show appreciation to teachers representing diverse backgrounds; and to highlight the importance of having an educator workforce where African American students are represented. Hosting this event during National Teacher Appreciation week provided an opportunity to thank teachers for all that they do inside and outside of the classroom to contribute to African American student achievement.
Students later were greeted by Secretary DeVos. The keynote speaker was SGM Ret. Ronald E. Fetherson of the U.
Marine Corps. This event allowed the Initiative to facilitate conversation among participating organizations and individuals, institutions and organizations interested in engaging Black women and girls. Advisor Toussaint spoke to her unique experience of serving as both a mentee and then later a mentor in the program.
Led by the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, researchers and practitioners from across the nation came together to discuss the issue of college food and housing insecurity. The goals for the summit included:. The summit kicked off with a discussion led by student speaker Kyonne Rowe, senior at Cornell University. The insightful event continued with a panel titled Reimagining Opportunities to Support Minority Students in Postsecondary Education featured the following professionals:.
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Eye to Eye National is a mentorship program that strives to improve the lives of youth with learning disabilities. Through this program, students learn the skills necessary to become self-advocates, build their self-esteem, and value their unique minds, all the while maintaining a strong system of support. An exceptional Matthew Brown provided a personal account as an African American male with dyslexia, dysgraphia, executive functioning and attention deficit-disorder. Matthew has exemplified the importance of self-advocacy and communal support, as a successful student, mentor, and diplomat of Eye to Eye.
During his workshop, participants pinpointed their greatest strength through an activity entitled Megaphone Project. The panel discussion consisted of a range of special education advocates who discussed reimagining opportunities for African American students with disabilities. This panel included:. Each panelist provided a different perspective based on their personal experiences as an African American with disabilities or with African American youth with disabilities. The importance of familial support was emphasized; however, first-degree families may also suffer from similar issues that remain unidentified.
The panelists further discussed the need for parent advocacy and involvement, as well as shifting the image of students with disabilities from seemingly having behavioral issues to that of a learning disability. With a full house of attendees, students and parents of students with disabilities continued this discussion by expressing their need for communal and institutional support, in order to ensure success both inside and outside of the classroom.